2019 Mazda3 Sedan – First Impressions
I unexpectedly got a loaner car today after I took my Speed3 to get the front and rear brakes serviced. It is a 2019 Mazda3 Sedan, with all-wheel drive, with the Select Package if I'm not mistaken. I wanted to write down my thoughts on it while I have it for a few days.
- First off, the interior is indeed really nice for a $25,000 car. There are soft-touch materials almost everywhere in the car. The center console is padded generously and is a great place to rest your elbow.
- The car only came with “Leatherette” seats, but the seats are comfy and fit my body well. The seats in this Mazda3 fit me better than the seats in my Speed3. My only issue with it is that it somewhat sticks to the back of my shirt when driving. That usually doesn't happen with cloth or leather seats.
- The new 8.8 inch infotainment center is nice. It is a higher resolution screen than the one in my wife's 2016 CX-5. The backup camera feed looks great with the higher reso screen, though I feel like it is less of a wide angle backup camera compared to the one in the wife's CX-5.
- It also comes with the new version of Mazda Connect and has Apple Carplay. Today was my first time using Apple Carplay. It is pretty cool, though I wasn't blown away by the use of it. The main benefit in my opinion is not having to mount your phone somewhere on your car while driving.
- I tested its highway speed acceleration and thought it accelerated really well from 60 – 80 mph. It is weird because I feel like it is slower accelerating from 30 – 50 mph than it is accelerating from 60 – 80 mph.
- There is something weird that happens when accelerating hard and the engine goes past 4000 RPM. It is almost like it hesitates at the 4000 RPM mark, like it's not sure if I really wanted to go fast or to back off. If I keep my foot on the throttle, it will eventually give me everything it's got all the way to the redline. To be fair to the car, I might have really been hesitating as I do not recall tripping the kick-down switch yet on this car. Maybe I just needed to step on the gas pedal harder or just turn on Sport Mode.
- The throttle mapping on this car is pretty good, compared to the sluggish throttle mapping on the 2016 CX-5s. You don't have to step on the throttle too much to get it to downshift. It is just right in my opinion.
- One of my biggest issues with FWD cars happens when I am at a stop and need to quickly accelerate while doing a 90 degree turn. That is not an issue with this car thanks to it being AWD. In fact it feels really nice to launch from a stop and immediately turn. No wheel spin or wheel hop or anything like that. It just turns and goes.
- This car takes corners really well. It is a little hard to explain, but it feels like when you start turning, it is already ready to turn. Contrast that to other cars, where when you turn, the car sort of like sets itself up for the turn or leans for the turn, then turns. In this Mazda3 it's like it doesn't have to wait to lean into the turn, it just turns. My prior research indicates that this is the new G-Vectoring Control Plus and the updated i-Activ AWD system in action.
- The suspension on this car is comfy but sporty enough. It absorbs bumps way better than my Speed3 does, which is to be expected, but it also beats the CX-5 in this aspect. I'm saying it is more comfy to drive than the CX-5, while being able to take corners faster than a CX-5.
- The engine has a weird sound when accelerating. It sounds... artificial or sometimes even comical. It doesn't sound good in my opinion, but I'm spoiled because I drive a Speed3 and my previous car, a Gen2 Mazda3 had a K&N Typhoon intake on it. I'm not sure if it is really setup to pipe in intake noise, but it sounds like the engine noise is piped into the car, which is probably why it sounds weird. My wife's CX-5 has the same engine minus the cylinder deactivation, but it doesn't sound weird like this car when accelerating.
- The 2.5L SkyActiv- G engine in this Mazda3 seems... adequate. I feel like that engine is slow on the CX-5. It still feels slow on this Mazda3, but not that slow. It is... well adequate. A little more horsepower and it will be really good. I think a 3,200 lb/200 horsepower Mazda3 with AWD would be a blast to drive.
- This Mazda3 allows you to setup a car seat in the center position. On my Speed3, you can only setup car seats behind the driver or front passenger seat. On a related note, this Mazda3 for some reason feels tighter in the back than my Speed3. I think daily driving with 1 car seat would be my limit on this car. If you have to use 2 car seats, I think it is best to move up to a midsize vehicle, like a Mazda6 or CX-5.
- I'm worried about the fuel economy on this car. This is supposed to get 25 mpg in city driving and above 30 mpg on the highway. I'm averaging less than 25 mpg. Actually it's more like 23 mpg, which is not good. Will be interesting to see if it improves when I drive it to work on Monday. My wife's CX-5, which has a very similar engine, can hardly get to 26 mpg, which is the EPA estimated city mpg rating, but I give it a pass because it is a CUV. This car though is a sedan, it is supposed to get good fuel mileage.
- The trunk is spacious enough for a Costco run. You give up vertical storage space with a sedan compared to a hatchback or CUV, but I feel like you can better pack items in the trunk without said items jostling about.
I think I'll stop here. They had to order the front brake parts for my car, so I expect to have this loaner Mazda3 until Tuesday. If I learn anything new or interesting about this car in the next few days, I'll get some more posts up on here. Have a good weekend everyone!